Title: Our Daily Bread
Author: Lauren B. Davies
Summary: The God-fearing townspeople of Gideon shun the Erskine Clan, who live on North Mountain, and ignore the rampant child abuse and violence. On the mountain, twenty-one-year old Albert Erskine dreams of a better and safer life. In town, young Ivy Evans is relentlessly bullied by her classmates. Though her father, Tom Evans, is a well-liked local, his troubled marriage to a restless outsider is a source of gossip. As rumors and innuendo about the Evans family spread, Ivy seeks refuge in Dorothy Carlisle, an independent-minded widow who runs a local antique store. When Albert ventures down from the mountain and seizes on the Evans' family crisis as an opportunity to befriend Ivy's vulnerable teenage brother Bobby it sets in motion a chain of events which will change everything. Inspired by a true story.
My Rating: 9.25/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: This book surprised me on how much I enjoyed it. As I was reading experts from the book, I did question if the book would be the right one for me. The topic matter, from the description and experts had me worried, so I was very wary about it. Surprisingly, the book ended up being a lot different than I expected. Although it was dark and twisted it ended up being a fantastic read, where I was frantically reading to the end during the climax of the book.
Although the book touches on some horrific subject matter, it's almost entirely implied and never explained until the end at the trials. But what was implied to what happens up in the mountains, is just as tense, shocking and horrifying as it would be to the reader if it was explained. I much prefer it all implied, as the book is a heavy book to read. It's dark and twisted. It has some great passages that were wonderfully written, but it was a dark and twisted book. Filled with dark and twisted characters, who you rarely see, but are there lurking in the background, which I found added something to the whole reading experience.
The characters the reader does get to experience up close, where incredibly well written. Although in the latter half of the book, a few characters (Ivy for example) stories were almost completely forgotten and not as wrapped up as I would have liked, for the most part the characters were well developed. The cast of characters are ones who do stay with you after the book is finished. Albert, for example stays with you long after you finish the book. I can't say he's a character I liked, but he's a character that leaves an imprint on the reader.
A dark and twisted story, but one I had a hard time putting down - it was an incredible read!
Would I recommend it to read: I would. While it touches on some "heavy" topics and I think some readers would be turned off by this, it was a great book. Well written and developed characters. It's one of the books on this year's Giller Longlist (2012), that I would highly recommend. I'm shocked it didn't make the shortlist.
What to read next: The other 2012 Longlisters - you really don't know what you'll find until you read them all.
Challenges: 12 in 12, 100+ Challenge, Canadian Book Challenge VI, Fall into Reading Challenge